Multiple linear regression analysis was used to deduce the correlation between the monosaccharide composition ratios of 10 regionally different strains of Lentinula edodes and their in vitro macrophage stimulatory activities. Arabinose, xylose, mannose and galactose were identified as the monosaccharides that could be related to macrophage stimulatory activities. Additional principal component analysis and factor analysis methods were used to treat the same monosaccharide composition ratio data and the compositions of arabinose, xylose, mannose and galactose were found to be important. Interestingly, glucose, although presented in large compositions in all strains presumably forms the backbone of the polysaccharide structures, is not selected as the determinant factor for either structural characteristics or that of the in vitro macrophage stimulatory activities. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.